Bursary graduates 'all teaching'

05 February 2013 - 02:09 By KATHARINE CHILD
File Photo
File Photo

The KwaZulu-Natal department of education says it has now placed all unemployed bursary recipients who graduated as teachers.

Last week,The Times reported that many of the province's bursary recipients were sitting at home because they had no jobs.

Every year, in a bid to curb the shortage of teachers, the Education Department pays for about 10000 students to study teaching via the Funza Lushaka bursary scheme.

Some 3000 students graduate every four years, at an average cost of R200 000.

In return, the graduates are expected to work in government schools for every year for which their tuition was paid.

However, the Education Department admitted that only half of the bursary recipients were placed in government schools within months of graduating and even fewer worked in rural areas.

But yesterday KwaZulu-Natal education spokesman Muzi Mahlambi said all 627 Funza Lushaka bursary holders had been employed in government schools and that many of these had been sent to the Umkhanyakude district in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

But National And Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa president Basil Manuel said he knew of at least one bursary holder who had not been placed and he suspected there were more like her.

On the same day The Times report was published, the KwaZulu-Natal education department phoned at least 30 teachers and told them to go to Pietermaritzburg the next day, where they would be allocated a job.

One Funza Lushaka maths teacher, who asked not to be named, said he "was very excited but there was lots of school work to catch up on".